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Driver’s License Consequences Associated With DUI Charges


Your California Driver’s License Will Be Confiscated If A Breath Test Result Is 0.08 Or Over

They take it right away, unless it’s an out-of-state license. But if it’s a California license, they can take it and they’ll give you a sheet of paper. It’s usually pink, some counties it’s still not, and they generate it from a computer. That’s a temporary license, and that’s good for 30 days. You have to contact or have an attorney contact the DMV within 10 calendar days of the arrest, to request a hearing with DMV, or if you do not do that, after 30 days your license will be suspended.

They will take your license if you blow at or over a 0.08 on a breath test. If you refuse to do a test and they believe that you’re under the influence or they believe that you’re at or above 0.08 based on driving, field sobriety tests and the odor of alcohol, they will take it as well.

Your License Is Not Supposed To Be Confiscated If It Is A Drug-Related Case

So the only time that they’re not supposed to take it is when it’s a drug-related case, as opposed to an alcohol-related case. The police often do confiscate your license if it is a drug-related case; however, they’re not supposed to because the whole taking your license is for the alcohol laws, not for drug laws. Usually, almost every time you when you blow under a 0.08, they will not take your license.

Requesting A DMV Hearing To Restore Your Driving Privileges

What you’re trying to do is – and you almost always want an attorney that knows what they’re doing with the DMV so you have a chance to win – you’re trying to keep your license from being suspended. This is called an Admin Per Se action.

You Will Benefit From Retaining An Attorney To Represent You At This Hearing

At this hearing, the DMV is claiming that because you were at or over a 0.08, and you’re going to lose your license for a period of time. That can be prevented if the attorney can show that one of three elements is not met.

Those elements are: They have to be able to show is that the police had reasonable cause to pull you over, believing that you’re in violation of DUI laws. They have to be able to show that you were lawfully arrested, and they also have to be able to show that your blood alcohol level was at or over 0.08 at the time of driving. If the attorney can show that one of those three elements or more were not present, then they will save your license with the DMV.

With An Attorney’s Help At The Admin Per Se Action, A Successful Outcome Could Have A Favorable Benefit For Your Criminal Case

The only other issue there in regards to the license is you’re probably going to have a court case as well. On a first offense, if the attorney can get it dismissed or win at trial or get a wet reckless or a dry reckless instead of a standard first DUI conviction, then your license will be completely saved if he or she has already won your DMV.

It’s an administrative case; it’s a civil case. If you lose the hearing at the DMV, that is not a criminal conviction.

Prevailing At The DMV Hearing In California

Just like a court case, it depends on the facts of the case. Some cases are a lot harder to win than others. If you’re close to the legal blood alcohol limit, there are usually a lot more defenses. It just depends.

If you have a no driving defense and you’ve got witnesses or they can’t prove it, then you can win the case. The defenses that work at the DMV hearing that give you the best chance to win are usually rising blood alcohol levels, and margin of error, whether it is blood or breath testing. We bring in expert witnesses to many DMV hearings, especially for cases that are close the legal limit, to testify about the validity and accuracy of the testing process.

Impact Of Blood Test Results On DMV Hearing

What happens is that they’re so backed up at the DMV that – say you were arrested today, and the hearing request went in within the 10 days. They’re almost never going to schedule a hearing within 30 days of your arrest, it’s going to be sometime past that. So what they do is they do a stay of suspension. They will send you a new temporary license, which will be good until the conclusion of your DMV hearing, and then your license is suspended by DMV if you do not win the hearing.

Aaron Bortel

Get your questions answered - Call Us 24/7 For a FREE Case Evaluation (415) 523-7878

The DMV Hearing May Be More Difficult To Win Than Your Court Case

It’s completely different from the criminal case. The burden at DMV is – let’s put it this way, it’s a lot easier to lose DMV than it is in court. This is because the burden at DMV is a civil burden, more likely than not, 51% of the time. That’s all that the DMV has to show on those three elements. In court, it’s proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

So at DMV, unfortunately, what has happened over the years is the hearing officers have gotten tougher and tougher. The new ones come in and they are instructed to basically do everything possible to suspend everybody. Unfortunately, that’s the way it has been going. We still have some good hearing officers out there who follow the law, who are not worried about what their supervisors are going to say, but DMV is tough to beat.

Fighting To Restore Driving Privileges At DMV Hearing

This is why you want to consult with a DUI lawyer who does a lot of DMV hearings and who is successful there because they can help you evaluate it. In almost every single case, the advice that an attorney is going to give you is to fight your case with DMV. They will counsel to keep you driving while the DMV and the court cases are going on and see if they can save your license. There’s too much at stake here.

Your Insurances Rates Can Increase

If you decide that you’re just not going to win DMV and you’re not going to hire a lawyer, if you don’t fight, there is no way to win. You are going to be facing, if you lose DMV, and lose in court, one or the other, your insurance is going way up.

You Can Have Points Added To Your Driving Record

Since we’re specifically talking about DMV right now, a DUI is two points on your driving record, and if there is an accident involved, that’s another point. That’s three points. There are other consequences. If you already have a point within the last twelve months and it’s an accident DUI, you’re looking at being considered a negligent operator and having your license taken away for even longer.

You Must Request Your DMV Hearing With 10 Days Of Your Arrest

If you just decide that you have no chance to win and you don’t consult with an attorney, the consequences are severe. I think everybody should at least try and fight it because – let’s just start with insurance costs.

It will also affect your present or future employment. Once you have a suspension from DMV and have the points on your record, if you ever want a job that has anything to do with driving, when you’re under an employer’s insurance coverage, the other guy or gal is going to get the job over you because the company won’t hire someone very often who has the DUI suspension from DMV.

Points On Your Driving Record

The points will fall off and eventually your insurance will go down, but these records are usually there for 10 years, and sometimes can stay even longer for DMV. In the criminal case, they stay on there forever.

For more information on Driver’s License Consequences For A DUI, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 523-7878 today.

Aaron Bortel

Get your questions answered - Call Us 24/7 For a FREE Case Evaluation (415) 523-7878

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